val·e·dic·to·ri·an | \ ˌva-lə-ˌdik-ˈtȯr-ē-ən \

Definition of valedictorian 

: the student usually having the highest rank in a graduating class who delivers the valedictory address at the commencement exercises

Examples of valedictorian in a Sentence

She was the valedictorian of her class in 1985.

Recent Examples on the Web

Jaisaan Lovett graduated last month as the valedictorian of University Preparatory Charter School for Young Men, becoming the first black student to ever earn that title. Paula Rogo,, "First Black Valedictorian Speaks At City Hall After High School Denies Him Graduation Speech," 7 July 2018 Xavier Xcel Lightfoot's cool middle name captures how the first African-American valedictorian ever at Pius XI Catholic High School approaches life and success. Jim Stingl, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Stingl: First black valedictorian at Pius inspires a clothing shop to give him a free suit for Presidential Scholars trip," 19 June 2018 Megan Amedee, the valedictorian from the Nursing Academy, told her peers that life doesn’t stop after high school. Alison Kuznitz,, "Fighting For Dreams, Hartford Public High School Grads Step Into The Unknown," 15 June 2018 Speeches by school principal Rachel Blundell, valedictorian Corrigan Garcia, and salutatorian Bailee Dobson all referred to the May shooting. Terry Spencer,, "‘Keep making us proud,’ Jimmy Fallon tells Parkland students," 3 June 2018 Millon grew up in Winters and was Winters High School's valedictorian in 2008, DeAngelo said. Kellen Browning, sacbee, "'We've been crying and typing.' Winters newspaper staff mourns reporter, 27, killed in crash," 29 May 2018 Jaisaan Lovett of Rochester, N.Y., became the first African-American valedictorian in his school’s history. Eric Stirgus, ajc, "Incoming Clark Atlanta University student says high school snub "couldn't break me"," 5 July 2018 Frances Young, the class valedictorian, encouraged her classmates to see the upside of their failures. Janice Steinhagen, Courant Community, "'Tag, You're It' - Griswold Grads Challenged To Be Forces For Change," 26 June 2018 In high school, Bui took eight Advanced Placement classes, served as secretary of her school's National Honor Society, helped design a device to detect E. coli in water and was one of 19 valedictorians of her graduating class. Corlyn Voorhees,, "Madison High graduate to attend Brown University as first-generation college student," 8 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'valedictorian.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of valedictorian

1759, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for valedictorian

valedictor(y) + -ian

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Statistics for valedictorian

Last Updated

14 Sep 2018

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Time Traveler for valedictorian

The first known use of valedictorian was in 1759

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English Language Learners Definition of valedictorian

: the student who has the highest grades in a graduating class and who gives a speech at graduation ceremonies


val·e·dic·to·ri·an | \ ˌva-lə-ˌdik-ˈtȯr-ē-ən \

Kids Definition of valedictorian

: a student usually of the highest standing in a class who gives the farewell speech at the graduation ceremonies

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What made you want to look up valedictorian? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


occurring twice a year or every two years

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